National High School Invitational in North Carolina
This past March, the Mount Carmel baseball team was invited to participate in the National High School Invitational held in Cary, North Carolina. This prestigious tournament brings in 16 of the top high school baseball teams in the country to compete against each other. This tournament features not only some of the best teams but some of the best amateur athletes in the country. I was lucky enough to be a part of the Mount Carmel baseball team and experience this once in a lifetime event.
I have played a lot of baseball in my life, and have traveled to various states for tournaments. However, nothing has compared to the NHSI Tournament. The USA Baseball National Training Complex was one of the most beautiful facilities I have ever seen. From the moment I stepped foot on the facility, I felt as though I were in baseball heaven. Our team was treated as first-class athletes. We were provided with baseball backpacks and water bottles when we arrived at our hotel. At the fields, we received free Gatorade, Gatorade chews, and Gatorade protein bars. The baseball fields were absolutely beautiful. I have never played on a nicer surface in my life. The competition and players we faced were some of the best in the country. To be playing on the same fields as MLB players used to play was unbelievable. Scouts were everywhere, there to watch some of the potential future MLB draft picks in attendance, including our very own Alek Thomas.
The NHSI baseball tournament was an experience that I will not soon forget. It has been a tremendous honor to be a member of the Mount Carmel baseball team and to represent our school at the NHSI baseball tournament. Although we went 2-2, we learned a great deal from the playing experience and grew closer together as a team. Through everything from our team dinners to just hanging out in our hotel rooms, the shared experiences developed a bond among the members of the Caravan baseball team that I do not think will ever be broken. I am excited for the rest of the season, and I know that participating in this tournament has helped us take the next step in our journey to an Illinois State Championship.